National Day of Prayer – “For Your Great Name’s Sake!”
This Thursday May 4 is the National Day of Prayer. The Bible continually exhorts us to come together as the body of Christ to pray. Are we taking this call seriously? One great step in the right direction is to participate in a National Day of Prayer event in your area. Visit www.NationalDayofPrayer.org to find an event in your area and to learn more about this national holiday. Here in Central Oregon, there is a Redmond Community Prayer Breakfast from 6:30-8:30am, a prayer gathering at Eastmont Church in Bend from 5-6pm and a community prayer gathering at Central Christian School from 6-7pm.
It is also beneficial to share with your kids and others why we have a National Day of Prayer. Prayer has actually been an integral part of our government from the beginning of our nation. Here’s an excerpt from our book, Navigating Public Schools, on the importance of this holiday:
The National Day of Prayer is often ignored in public school classrooms. Even though the President of the United States issues a proclamation on the National Day of Prayer each and every year, most teachers are afraid to discuss this holiday because of the supposed separation of church and state.
Yet prayer has been part of our government from the beginning of our nation: this is why we have a National Day of Prayer. From the records of America’s first national Congress, in Philadelphia on Sept. 5th, 1774: “Resolved, That the Rev’d. Mr. Duché be desired to open the Congress tomorrow morning with prayers…” In fact, immediately after the signing of the Declaration, they appointed Mr. Duché as the first Chaplain of Congress and asked him to give the first prayer. Here is that first prayer which started a history of opening every Congressional session in prayer:
O Lord our heavenly Father, high and mighty King of kings and Lord of lords . . . over all the kingdoms, empires, and governments; look down in mercy, we beseech thee, on these American States who have fled to thee from the rod of the oppressor, and thrown themselves on thy gracious protection, desiring to be henceforth dependent only on thee; to thee they have appealed for the righteousness of their cause; to thee do they now look up for that countenance and support which thou alone canst give; take them, therefore, heavenly Father, under thy nurturing care; give them wisdom in council, and valor in the field; defeat the malicious designs of our cruel adversaries; convince them of the unrighteousness of their cause . . . All this we ask in the name and through the merits of Jesus Christ, Thy Son, and our Savior, Amen!